Most developed and some developing countries have modernized their legal and regulatory framework to meet the requirements that were brought forth by the adoption of new information and communication technologies (ICTs). Many countries in the Arab World, however, are still in the early development or enactment stages of cyber legislation. In order to narrow this legislative divide and to minimise the illicit and illegal use of cyberspace in the region, Arab countries need to follow a course of action that includes the formulation of cyberspace laws and the adoption of related organisational and management directives.
With the above in mind, ESCWA became involved in cyber legislation in 2007 and is currently in the process of implementing a project entitled Regional Harmonization of Cyber Legislation to Promote the Knowledge Society in the Arab World
that will extend till mid 2012. The project aims at enhancing regional integration and strengthening the capacity of member countries to build a strong and sustainable ICT sector through the development of appropriate legal and regulatory structures. Within the framework of this project, ESCWA produced a set of directives entitled the "ESCWA Cyber Legislation Directives" designed to assist Arab countries in the development of national cyber laws and to harmonize cyber legislation on a regional level.
Ongoing activities of the project include the promotion and dissemination of these directives, the provision of related advisory services and the organisation of capacity building workshops to train relevant individuals on their application at the national level. To that end, a first Workshop on the ESCWA Directives for the Regional Harmonization of Cyber Legislation
(Beirut, 13 - 15 September 2011) was organized targeting governments, ICT ministries and experts from the Arab countries.
The second workshop entitled "Developing and Harmonizing Cyber Legislation in the Arab Region" is organized in collaboration with the League of Arab States – the Technical Secretariat of the Arab Legal Council of Ministers – and will take place from 13 to 15 March 2012 in Cairo. It aims at supporting Arab countries and building the capacities of legislators in the application of the ESCWA Cyber Legislation Directives for the formulation of national cyber laws or the review/adjustment of existing ones.
Submissions, inquiries and requests for additional information should be addressed to: Dr. Nibal Idlebi
, Chief, ICT Applications Section, ICT Division, ESCWA, T +961-1-978540, F +961-1-981510, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org